I had a number of people (close to 300) complete the 28 Days to Better Selling Program I put on in May and June. Many of you were asking when I was going to do it again? My next one will be in the fall but it will be marketing focused. With that said, you can do the 28 Days to Better Selling Program at your own pace by following the links below.
Here’s how 28 Days to Better Selling Works:
1) A daily task that you can easily implement to improve your sales and business
2) A succinct daily lesson to help you make the improvement
By the end of the 28 days you will have looked at 28 ways to fine tune and improve your sales process and business. The daily lessons will be in written, video or audio format and will take less than 10 minutes each to review.
Day 3 Prospecting in Person
Day 4 Networking Strategy
Day 5 LinkedIn Prospecting
Day 7 Lead Nurturing
Day 9 Listening in Sales
Day 12 Twitter for Sales Part 1
Day 13 Twitter for Sales Part 2
Day 14 Keeping Commitments
Day 15 Selling Benefits and Results
Day 18 Vital Signs
Day 19 Preparing For a Sales Call
Day 20 Team Selling
Day 21 Just Thinking About You
Day 23 Day of Rest, Chill Out and Reflect
Day 26 Reducing Anxiety and Worry
Day 27 15 Ways to Close A Sale
Want to Close Bigger Deals? Buy the Book:
Following are the five key elements of Operationalizing sales (Full explanation in text is here):
3. Processes and Knowledge
4. Maximize Selling Time
5. Support and Accountability Structure
After you listen to today’s podcast your assignment is to:
- List the 5 headings for operationalizing sales discussed
- Fill in under each heading what actions or steps you are going to take
- Once mapped out make sure you assign a specific time to implement the steps
- Find someone you can be accountable to in the process.
Energy management in sales is just as important as time management. Worry and anxiety can be big energy drainers. Your assignment today is to implement as many of the strategies outlined in today’s podcast as possible.
The following are some ideas, strategies, and tips to proactively help reduce your worry and anxiety:
- Set a Specific Time for Worry
- Move to Action
- Try Exercise
- Get Out of Bed Quickly
- Post Good News
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
- Make Meetings Productive with the Worry Chart
- Time Limit on Hard Work
- Know the Value of the Present
- Laugh at Yourself
- Give Yourself Special Treatment
Yesterday we talked about the importance of proving or selling inangible results related to your products or services. Today we are going to focus on some of the key attributes needed to do so. The following provides a brief overview of some of the skills and strengths needed to be great at selling intangibles.
Personal Brand of You
When selling intangible solutions, it really is about credibility and the relationship. Because the solution is intangible, the purchase is largely based upon the believability of the salesperson.
Having a strong personal brand helps people understand who we are, what we are about, and it removes uncertainty.
People who are good at this type of sales often communicate what they do in a unique way. This means specializing and unique positioning is often necessary.
Passionate Evangelist/Industry Authority or Both
As an extension of our personal brand and our ability to differentiate, our passion and knowledge are critical in selling intangibles. Because the client cannot often experience the service or solution in a tangible way, their experience of you has to be credible and inspiring.
“In communicating, your greatest enemy isn’t the noise around you – it’s the noise you create, un-wittingly” – Harry Beckwith, author of What Clients Love and Selling the Invisible.
Brevity and focus are key. If we focus on one or two core things we are good at and communicate those proficiencies really well, we can own a large portion of client mindshare and wallet share.
Because what we are selling cannot be seen, touched, or measured, we need to be good at building value. Your ability to articulate the real value in terms of return on investment is very important. Solutions must be presented in a way that solves a core client pain or challenge.
Here we are 23 Days in. We are almost there. I’ve done programs with bloggers and marketers very similar to this. The difference is they collaborate, maybe it’s geek DNA that make us want to share.
Reading through the list of participants and checking out through Twitter, Linkedin and FaceBook who is following along, I can calculate 300 people who are following this program. 240 of you are keeping your thoughts to yourself. I’m also assuming you’re keeping your sales challenges to yourself too.
I personally am referred to by other people as a Sales Guru, Social Media expert etc. I find those labels embarrassing, and sometimes I find it equally challenging to admit that in some circumstance in business that I’m like a duck out of water. Clueless basically.
Why I share this? I still succeed in spite of my limitations, but only because I network with great people and am willing to admit that I need mentoring, support and business. Mentorship and great guidance is the key here.
There’s several hundred people who are into improving sales and marketing efforts, and our combined wisdom is astonishing but we also need to not be proud and ask for help. Today’s exercise is simple, reach out to me and other connections and tell us you need help. I’m waiting to hear what you need help with.
Team selling is a whole new dynamic for a lot of new sales people, even tenured sales people and executives can often miss in a team environment. Sales people are measured by their individual contribution to the bottom-line but in team selling they need to take a look at the bigger picture and engage and coordinate a whole team.
Today’s assignment after you listen to the podcast is as follows:
1) Develop your own Edification sheet or elevator pitch for your team mates
2) Get each of them to do that as well for you and then memorize each others “Edification Sheet”
3) Develop a checklist for prepping for meetings that ensures that you:
a. Know the key strengths and purpose of those people on your team
b. Determine the meeting lead
c. Warm everyone up for the call
d. Debrief after the meeting with the key questions:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go well?
- What could we do better?
We work hard to target the right companies, get past the gatekeeper, and get a commitment from the client to meet with us. But are we prepared? This is a two part podcast on getting ready for meetings. Today we will focus on individual sales calls and tomorrow we will talk about how to plan out team selling scenarios.
After you listen to today’s podcast here is your assignment:
#1) Brainstorm all of the possible objections you could get in your typical sales call and either pre-empt them or memorize your answers
#2) Be prepared for the worst case scenario, map out what those could be and how you will handle them.
#3) Be prepared for the best case scenario, what will you need to close the deal or negotiate with a key prospect on the spot?
#4) Map out key research sources you can review and confirm before heading to the meeting
#5) Build a checklist for this process and go through before each meeting well in advance
Revenues are not a measurement, neither are deals closed, they are results. They are a result of core habits and behaviors driven into practice over time with discipline. With any sales goal, you first have to start with an annual dollar figure that is broken down quarterly, monthly and even the daily. Achieving that goal of course is dependent upon the activities we put into our plan.
Anthony McAleer top producing financial advisor for London Life says it this way: “If you’re not getting the results you want, you’re probably not doing the core activities.” Jim Janz, multi-million-dollar direct sales magnate calls these activities “vital signs.”
When paramedics arrive on the scene of an accident they will check the vital signs of those injured. Just because someone is standing upright and talking does not mean they’re healthy. Some vital signs to look for are:
• Checking if the pupils in the eyes respond to light
• Blood Pressure
• Heart Rate
• Breathing Rate
• Brain function and nervous system response
• Sensitivity to palpation
• And many other factors
If any of these signs are out of sync, there is a chance that the injured is presently in danger, or could experience difficulties later on.
Your business, because you are a business of one, is responsible for bringing in revenues and turning a profit, has vital signs. Just because you’re making phone calls and networking doesn’t mean you have a healthy business. Revenues alone don’t mean your business is healthy.
Depending on your business some of your sales vital signs could be the number of:
• Calls per day
• In person meetings with clients
• Proposals written
• Networking events attended
• RFPs completed
• Hours per week organizing or planning
• E-mails sent
• Blog entries written
• Presentations made
• Prospects added to your list
• Number of repeat orders from key accounts
You could also produce and monthly, quarterly or even annual vital signs record sheet. This process will give you a clear picture of how close you are to achieving your goals based upon your activity. Over time you will also begin to notice a correlation between specific activities and revenues. These activities could be called “Core Vital Signs.”
In direct sales for instance, Jim Janz could predict the monthly gross revenues of a group of people based upon the number of people who attended training meetings and how many new people were added to the group over the previous 90 days. You may find that there is a direct correlation between the number of proposals you write and the number of new clients you close. The number of cold calls could be irrelevant for instance.
One important fact to note is that once you determine what your core vital signs are, you should book those first in your calendar and make sure that your entire plan is focused on you executing those activities.
In sales often when we are no longer getting the results we want we are no longer doing the key activities that make us successful. Knowing your vital signs and executing them daily is key to your long term success.
Your Assignment Today is:
1) List all of your core activities that you daily and weekly
2) Determine which ones are your vital activities that lead to your desired outcomes
3) Map out and begin to measure these activities daily
We will often get objections that our product or service costs more money in comparison to a competitor.
There are two main questions you need answered before proceeding:
Question 1: “Mr. Client, when you say the price is too high, how high is it? And compared to what do you feel it is too high?
When the client answers this question, you know what amount you are dealing with. The important thing here is to separate that amount from the total amount. By the client telling you the amount, you know what they are happy to pay, so you do not sell them on that amount, they are already sold on it. Focus on the difference.
Client: “I am sorry, but the purchase price of that house is too much.”
Salesperson: “When you say too much, how much too much?”
Client: “About $20,000 too much.”
Salesperson: “So what you are saying is that $280 000 is okay with you, but it is the additional $20,000 that is holding you back?”
Salesperson: “Well, let’s take a look at what you get for that extra $20,000 or $250 per month in payments. For an extra $250 per month:
- You are just across the street from the elementary school, and you said you wanted to be close to the school.
- The area you were looking in is 10 miles further away from your office. You save yourself 20 miles of travel per day, and in gasoline and wear and tear on your car it translates into $5.00 per day, which is over $100 per month. That is almost half of the $250 per month.
- The house has a view and you really feel a view gives you a sense of freedom.
- You have a two car garage that is very secure.
- Your wife is in love with it.
- You reduce your worry about your children walking to school.
- You save time not having to drive or walk the kids to school.
- You are closer to the office and save time again.
- You end up with a view you want.
Salesperson: “For a $150 a month on your mortgage I feel this one is the best option we have looked at today.” (You would not use the entire list but probable focus in on the top ones you would feel the client would relate too)
Note: The salesperson does not say “for an extra $20,000 or for $300,000” which is the total price. The focus is on the difference and the lowest amount and then broken down to a monthly cost
Your Assignment today is:
#1) Look at which services or products you have where you have price objections
#2) Assess how much more they may be perceived to cost in comparison to similar products or services.
#3) Brainstorm all of the additional value financially and otherwise someone would get from paying the extra amount.
#4) Memorize your value added list.
Preempting objections is an important strategy that most successful sales people apply. Often we will have several obejctions that come up about our product, service or company on a regular basis. There are also things that lose deals that prospects will not tell us they are worried about.
Your assignment today is to listen to the podcast and then:
1) Brainstorm a list of all of the objections that you get on a regular basis.
2) List unspoken objections that people will not mention to you but you know are there.
3) Develop a way to preemptively handle each objection up-front and turn it into a selling point
Today’s exercise is simple and brief but it can have a big impact on our success as salespeople and entrepreneurs. Watch the video clip from a seminar I did a couple years back and then answer the following questions:
1) Have you lost business in the past due to you or your company missing client commitments?
2) What are the most common areas in your sales and service process where commitments could be broken?
3) What could you do to improve your ability to keep commitments and exceed your client and prospect expectations?